Monday, June 6, 2016

My digital perm experience

It's been 2 weeks since I got a digital perm at Jeju Hair in London (thank you!).

My hair before and after

  • Before: My hair is very thick in both strand size and quantity. I have the standard super-straight black Asian hair. I haven't dyed it in years so it's very strong and healthy. It's able to withstand intense bleaching, colouring, and heat. I had been waving and curling it myself every day with my Babyliss Diamond Radiance 235 straightener. I do get breakage mostly at the ends, but not really any split ends. It tends to get oily easy, and I wash it every two days. 
  • After:  My hair is literally the same except somehow shinier! This is a caveat for people with strong and healthy hair - don't be put off by the numerous blogs etc. I encountered online while doing my research. All I read about was how damaging the perm was, regrets, annoyances, having to spend lots of money on hair products, and having to spend lots of time drying/styling the hair. The condition of my hair after the perm is the same, if not better because of the trim and treatment!  

Why I love my perm 

  • I save 10 - 15 minutes of time and wrist-pain every morning, since I don't have to manually create every wave and curl myself (remember that I have a lot of hair!).
  • Curls don't get greasy as quickly and the oils can't travel to the ends of the hair as easily as with straight hair. 
  • I'm just back from a 3-day holiday in warm weather (26'C, high humidity/thunderstorm weather). I sweated a lot, got rained on, and went to a rock concert - without washing my hair in those 3 days after these activities, it still looks great! All I had to do was wet my fringe a little bit at night to wash it mildly, then style it in the morning. Again, so much time saved, not only with curling but washing!
  • There are literally no downsides, other than if you want straight/wavy hair, you'll have to straighten/wave it manually again - but I don't have this problem. 

Products I'm using

  • Faith in Nature Rosemary Shampoo
    • I used this at the beginning because it was what I was using before, and it didn't seem to do any harm to the perm. 
  • TRESemm√© Color Revitalize Conditioner
    • I bought this in advance because I read that my hair would need extra care and protection from UV. It's ok, it's a little bit heavy for my tastes.
  • Redken Curvaceous High Foam Lightweight Cleanser and Redken Curvaceous Conditioner
    • I bought these both for about €14 each (with discounts applied) from Feelunique, as one of these would have set me back €23 from Peter Mark here in Ireland... The big sell for me is that it's a high end salon brand product with no parabens or sulfates! Both are very easy to use and distribute through wet, curly, and often tangled hair, and leave my hair feeling clean, soft, and great.
  • Redken Curvaceous Full Swirl Curly & Wavy Hair Cream Serum
    • This was used on me in the salon before blowdrying to a really nice effect, but I wasn't really able to replicate it at home. The ends got a tiny bit crunchy (probably my fault), but it does help to define the curls and keep the curl shape. 
  • Philips HP8233/ 03 2200w ThermoProtect Ionic Hairdryer with Massaging Diffuser
    • I never really use a hairdryer and I definitely didn't have one with a diffuser, so I invested in this one. The diffuser is designed really well and is deep enough to hold a mass of curls. If you don't use the highest heat setting, it's quite difficult to burn or damage your hair or scalp. The ionic, ThemoProtect, and cool air functions are superb. After I wash my hair, I spray some TRESemme Heat Defence Styling Spray on my hair, twirl some sections, put the diffuser over them, then vary between the ThermoProtect and lowest heat setting on high speed. I don't think it takes more than half an hour to dry fully. Highly recommend this hairdryer!

My experience at the salon

  • The salon is very central to Camden and easy to find - just get off at the Camden Town tube stop and it's a few minutes' walk away. 
  • The salon is very new - only 8 months old, very well-kept, clean, and bright. There is an art gallery and tranquil space at the back.
  • Eunju is a very experienced stylist who also works in hair and make-up in theatre, and has studied in London's top creative schools. I felt welcome and comfortable when I arrived. 
  • I really appreciated that Eunju explained every step to me before starting.
  • In total, it took 3 hours, which is acceptable to me as the effect is supposed to last 3 - 6 months. I was well-looked after - I had magazines to read, and was offered tea and water. Eunju was very friendly and chatty throughout. The second lady who was there and also worked on my perm was also very polite and nice. 
  • Jeju Hair has a really generous discount for first-time visitors!
  • About the perm itself, there are a few washes, applications of different serums (one to relax the hair, then one to neutralise it), some time to relax it under the hood, then more time to set the curls. Compared to getting hair bleached, dyed, and cut, it's really hassle-free. Digital perms come with a trim, so I just had the ends trimmed to keep my hair healthy. 
  • Overall, I highly recommend Jeju Hair! Please give them a visit!

Pictures coming soon!

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